Out of puff
Oct 29th 2009
Where smoking kills most people
NEARLY one in five deaths in rich countries is caused by smoking, according to new data released this week by the World Health Organisation. In 2004, the latest year for which data are available, tobacco use killed an estimated 5.1m people worldwide, or one in every eight deaths of adults aged 30 and over. Residents of richer countries are suffering more now because they have been smoking longer: cancers and chronic respiratory diseases caused by tobacco smoke take a long time to develop. Deaths in poor countries, where many more people have taken on rich-world smoking habits in recent decades, are predicted to rise dramatically in the next 20 years.